Most Portugese who came to Jamaica, were Sephardic Jews who fled their country because of the Spanish Inquisition, which persecuted those of the Jewish faith.
Many of them were merchants and money changers, not planters. They became successful traders of goods such as pepper, cocoa, vanilla, pimento, and sugar. It should be noted however that Jews, having introduced sugar cultivation technology to Brazil in the 1520s, are largely credited with doing the same in Jamaica circa 1530.
The Jews were allowed to remain in Jamaica after the British conquest and began to practice their religion openly, establishing synagogues.
Today, only one synagogue remains – Synagogue She’are Shalom, the house of worship of the United Congregation of Israelites.
(Scotiabank Calendar JUNE 2010)
Out Of Many Cultures: The People Who Came – The Jews
The People Who Came – The Jews
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